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A World of Paper By John C. Rule

A World of Paper by John C. Rule

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Summary

Historians and social scientists have long identified bureaucracy as the modern state's foundation and the reign of France's Louis XIV as a model for its development. This book offers a fresh interpretation of bureaucracy through a close examination of the department of the Sun King's last foreign secretary, Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Torcy.

A World of Paper Summary

A World of Paper: Louis XIV, Colbert de Torcy, and the Rise of the Information State by John C. Rule

Historians and social scientists have long identified bureaucracy as the modern state's foundation and the reign of France's Louis XIV as a model for its development. A World of Paper offers a fresh interpretation of bureaucracy through a close examination of the department of the Sun King's last foreign secretary, Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Torcy. Torcy, who served as foreign secretary from 1696-1715, is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant foreign ministers of the ancien regime. Building on the work of his predecessors, he fashioned a skilled team of collaborators as he managed the complex issues of war and peace during the turbulent final decades of Louis XIV's reign. John Rule and Ben Trotter examine Torcy's department to depict administrative structures as they emerged through the circulating stream of paper that connected his office with provincial administrators and diplomats abroad. They explore the collection and centralization of information during Torcy's tenure through the creation of a modern state archive, discreet intelligence gathering, and the surveillance and management of the French mails. They also study the postal carriers, couriers, household officers of the royal court, genealogists hired for research, and an informal "brain trust" of experts, and advisors who carried vital information in and out of the department every day. A remarkable reconstruction of the department of Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Torcy, A World of Paper demystifies bureaucracy and explores the ways in which the modern information state developed from his labours.

A World of Paper Reviews

"A World of Paper is one of the finest works showing the mechanics and culture of state power. It is a major work of administrative history and will stand as a classic in its field. It is deep scholarship and required reading for all students of the history of politics and information studies." Jacob Soll, Department of History, University of Southern California "A World of Paper raises our knowledge and understanding of the development of France's foreign office to wholly new levels and represents a massive contribution to scholarship of later-Louis XIV absolutism. It has been a very long time since I've read a "State espionage was initially inflicted on a limited demographic: the Privy Council spied on the British court, the Venetian doge on diplomatic and ecclesiastical circles. But when spying became surveillance-the word is seventeenth-century French, and wa

About John C. Rule

John C. Rule (1929-2013) was professor emeritus of history at the Ohio State University. Ben S. Trotter is adjunct professor of history at Columbus State Community College.

Additional information

GOR011140213
A World of Paper: Louis XIV, Colbert de Torcy, and the Rise of the Information State by John C. Rule
Used - Well Read
Hardback
McGill-Queen's University Press
2014-06-01
704
0773543708
9780773543706
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book. We do our best to provide good quality books for you to read, but there is no escaping the fact that it has been owned and read by someone else previously. Therefore it will show signs of wear and may be an ex library book

Customer Reviews - A World of Paper